According to a new study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Black men and women are more likely to die from the coronavirus than white people.
ONS data found that ethnic minority groups are vulnerable even when age and health factors are taken into account.
Black women are 4.3 time more likely to die from the virus, and black men are 4.2 time more likely to die from a coronavirus related death.
The data shows that Bangladeshi-Pakistani ethnicity are 3.6 times more likely to die with the virus than white men, with females set at 3.4 times.
Men from Indian ethnicity are 2.4 times, whilst women are 2.7 more times to die from the virus.
An urgent investigation has been called by the Shadow justice secretary David Lammy over the disproportionate number of deaths.
Lammy wrote on Twitter, “It is urgent the causes of this disproportionality are investigated.
“Action must be taken to protect black men and women, as well as people from all backgrounds, from the virus.”
Tim Elwell-Sutton, assistant director of strategic partnerships at the Health Foundation, said: “This is a complex issue and the exact reasons why black and minority ethnic groups are being disproportionately impacted by the virus are still unknown but existing social inequalities and structural discrimination in British society are likely to be playing a significant role.
“Today’s data shows some of the impact of socioeconomic disadvantage, as well as region and health status, but even after taking these things into account, black and minority ethnic groups are still at higher risk.
“Some black and minority ethnic groups are more likely to have existing health conditions compared to the white population and may therefore be more likely to experience worse symptoms if they become infected with the virus.
“Recent mortality data has shown that Covid-related deaths have been higher among those living in deprived areas where people from black and minority ethnic communities are more likely to live.”
Between 2 March and 10 April over 1,000 black people lost their lives to coronavirus, whilst 560 people died from an Indian background.
Those from a Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds saw 501 deaths and 130 were from mixed ethnic backgrounds, and 14,781 white people died from the virus.
A Department of Health spokesperson said, ‘’We’re aware that this virus has sadly appeared to have a disproportionate effect on people from BAME backgrounds.
It is critical we find out which groups are most at risk so we can take the right steps to protect them and minimise their risk.
‘’We have commissioned Public Health England to better understand the different factors, such as ethnicity, obesity and geographical location that may influence the effects of the virus.”